For Gold, Peace, and Freedom


Search Query Sunday, 37th Edition

November 2nd, 2008

search-traffic-statistics-37.jpgAfter several weeks of consistent increases, overall traffic actually dropped off slightly last week. Halloween (October 31) was a particularly slow day, with a noticeable decline in search traffic volume across the board. Google seems to have reshuffled the rankings of my pages again, as it has been prone to do every few months. Rankings for some pages have increased, most notably on quote-related pages and my Fair Tax page, which is now at #1 for its main keyword.

At the same time, however, Google has dropped rankings on several other pages, causing a slight recession in my overall statistics. I can probably counteract this by gaining more backlinks to the low traffic pages and getting them re-crawled by the various search engine spiders. However, blog commenting, my most reliable method of getting backlinks, is very time consuming and the motivation for it is increasingly difficult to obtain with so many other things I need to be doing to supplement the revenue from this site until it reaches full-time income status.

Nevertheless, it is still possible to have some occasional fun after doing the keyword research and then watching the search queries and comments come in with so many stories about how people are dropping their cell phones in various liquids and freaking out over frogs. The other long tail queries can be interesting to look at too, such as those in this week’s sample below.

active ingredient in vinegar — This is acetic acid, which gives vinegar its tartness and sour taste. The actual amount of acetic acid present varies according to how the vinegar is made, but most store-bought vinegars have an acidity of around 5 percent.

adsense for search experience — My experience with the AdSense custom search option has been pretty good overall. I like being able to provide users with a quick and convenient way to search this site for whatever they’re looking for and be able to access the relevant articles. From a strictly monetary point of view, it has not been a major factor; the AdSense for search component accounted for about four dollars out of approximately $100 earned last month. Still, any clicks from visitors that you can gain from having the search option available represent extra revenue because in most cases these visitors would otherwise be lost when they leave the site.

allot vs. alot — “Alot” is not a valid English word. Allot means to apportion or allocate.

amazon associates experience — My experience with the Amazon associates program is that it performs very poorly on content-based sites like this one. The only time I am able to get any sales at all with it is if I have an article whose keywords target a very specific product such as a Sandisk Cruzer Titanium 8GB USB flash drive. Even in these cases, it has been difficult to make sales because I have to do such narrow targeting that traffic levels to the page are too low to make it worth the effort in most cases. Amazon’s pitifully low 4% commissions on most products certainly doesn’t help; for most topics, I usually wind up going back to Clickbank or PayDotCom for most of my affiliate marketing efforts.

average blog post length — Currently, the average post length for this blog is 810 words. You can figure this out by looking on my sidebar to the right under the heading “Site Statistics”. There you will see the current tally for the number of posts and the total number of words in all posts. The rest is simple math. I’m not sure about the average post length on other blogs, but I suspect that in most cases, their average posts will be somewhat shorter.

basic seo in ten minutes — In this case you can check out my article on simple SEO strategies for newbies. It explains the most important things that you need to look at for attracting search traffic to your pages and shouldn’t take more than ten minutes to read.

commission structure in clickbank system — With Clickbank, the commission rate is set by the individual publisher (also known as a vendor) of each product. Technically, Clickbank allows these commissions to be set anywhere between 1 and 75 percent, although as a practical matter they tend to be on the high side of this range. The average commission overall is probably around 50 percent. This commission is paid to affiliates whenever a sale is made; the majority of the remainder goes to the product vendor, while Clickbank itself retains a small portion to pay for its operating expenses while maintaining a profitable business model.

cons of only wealthy people paying taxes — Probably the biggest con in this area is that it will slow down the economy and make it less prosperous and competitive overall. This occurs because wealthy people tend to be the ones that start businesses, create jobs, and invest significant amounts of money into various sectors of the economy. Higher taxes on this group means fewer business startups, fewer new jobs, less innovation, and a generally stagnant business climate. It’s just not a good idea to interfere with people’s economic freedom regardless of whether they are wealthy or not.

A better alternative would be to organize society such that people only need to pay for services that they actually want as opposed to being forced to pay for things they don’t want or need from a government-enforced “one size fits all” model. In the absence of a fully voluntary system, something like a uniform sales tax (similar to the so-called “Fair Tax”) would be preferable to the mess that we have now. Note that even under a national sales tax model, the wealthy will likely wind up paying more because they tend to spend more, but at least in this case they have the option of spending less on consumer goods and investing some of their funds into businesses that can create jobs for everyone else.

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